Florida Football: Ranking the Gators' BCS Bowl Wins
Since the inception of the BCS in 1998 only two schools have been to more BCS bowl games than the Florida Gators. With five wins in seven appearances, Florida is also tied for the most BCS bowl wins in college football. (USC and Ohio State have more BCS bowl wins, but have both vacated a win due to NCAA sanctions.)
With the 2013 Sugar Bowl less than two weeks away, let's take a trip down memory lane and relive the Florida Gators best BCS bowl victories.
5. 1999 Orange Bowl
In the very first year of the BCS, Florida took on Donovan McNabb and the Syracuse Orange.
The Gators started the season ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll, but would lose in Tennessee and Tallahassee. Florida finished the regular season ranked No. 7 and earned a trip to Miami to play No. 18 Syracuse.
Doug Johnson found Travis Taylor twice in the first quarter to give the Gators a 14-point lead that they would never relinquish. Florida never trailed in the game and the outcome was never in doubt. The Gators went on to win the first ever BCS Orange Bowl by a score of 31-10.
4. 2002 Sugar Bowl
Gator fans didn't know it going into the game, but this would be the last game that Steve Spurrier ever coached at Florida.
The Gators began the season ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll and had their sights set on a National Championship. Rex Grossman had a great sophomore season and finished second to Eric Crouch in the Heisman voting by just 62 points.
Florida came into the game ranked No. 5 in the country and would take on No. 6 Maryland. The Terrapins were no match for Spurrier's high-powered offense and the Gators cruised to a 56-23 victory.
3. 2010 Sugar Bowl
The 2010 Florida Gators had more pressure on them than any other team in the school's history.
With Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes and most of the defensive starters coming back from a National Championship team, the Gators and their fans expected to repeat.
Florida finished the season a perfect 12-0 only to lose to Alabama in the SEC Championship game. The loss ended Florida's National Championship dreams but they would still earn a spot in the Sugar Bowl.
Tim Tebow had his best day as a passer completing 31-of-35 pass attempts for 482 yards and three touchdowns. Tebow added 14 carries for 51 yards and another score in the game to close out his collegiate career.
Florida dominated Cincinnati by a score of 51-24 and the game was more lopsided than the score shows.
2. 2006 BCS National Championship
10 years after the first National Championship in school history the Florida Gators won their second national title. In just Urban Meyer's second season the Gators were able to climb the rankings and take down an Ohio State team that many thought were head and shoulders the best team in the country.
Florida was a controversial choice to take on Ohio State as Michigan fans thought they should get a re-match against the Buckeyes like Florida received a re-match against Florida State in 1996. Ohio State came into the game undefeated and quarterbacked by the Heisman Trophy winner, Troy Smith. Most in the media predicted that the Buckeye's would roll over the Gators and that Florida didn't belong on the same field as Ohio State.
However, the Gators showed that they were not only worthy of playing in the game but that they were the superior team in 2006.
The Gators held Ohio State to just 82 yards of total offense and just 14 points as Florida would win their second National Championship in a 41-14 rout.
1. 2008 BCS National Championship
Just two seasons after beating Ohio State in Glendale, Arizona, the Gators got a chance to win another BCS National Championship in Miami.
Florida rebounded after an early loss to Ole Miss and worked their way back to No. 2 in the country, earning a chance to take on Sam Bradford and the high-powered Oklahoma offense.
Oklahoma came into the game with one of the most potent offenses that had ever been assembled in college football and Sam Bradford was rewarded with the Heisman Trophy leading up to the game.
Major Wright set the tone on the Sooner's first offensive possession and the Gators defense proved to be too much for the Sooner offense as Florida was able to hold Oklahoma to season lows in points (14) and yards (363).
With the score tied 7-7 at halftime, Tim Tebow gave an impassioned speech and Florida would go on to win the game 24-14.